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80 die of Lassa fever in 17 states, FCT

Lassa fever has claimed 80 lives in 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory since the beginning of this year, the Nigeria Centre for Disease…

Lassa fever has claimed 80 lives in 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory since the beginning of this year, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said.

The affected states are Edo, Ondo, Taraba, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Enugu, Nasarawa, Kogi, Cross River,  Imo, Anambra, Delta, Abia and Nasarawa. 

The centre, in a statement yesterday, said: “Since January 2021, a total of 434 confirmed cases with 80 deaths, have been reported from 17 states and  63 local government areas in Nigeria.”

NCDC also confirmed the recent death of two persons from Lassa fever in Nasarawa state.

It said the third person linked to the first case was receiving treatment in the FCT.

“On the 8th of December 2021, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was notified of the death of two persons from Lassa fever. 

“The first case was a pregnant woman who presented in a health facility in Nasarawa State and the next one, a medical doctor involved in the management of the patient that later sought medical care in the FCT.

“ In addition, another medical doctor linked to the index case has also been confirmed to have Lassa fever and he is currently receiving medical care in FCT,” the statement said.

The NCDC said it had intensified the activities of the national multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary Lassa fever Technical Working Group for Lassa fever surveillance and response in the country following the confirmations of Lassa fever cases in the two states.

It said Lassa fever emergency operation centres had been activated by the affected state and FCT.

The organisation also said the Nasarawa State Ministry of Health with the support of NCDC has commenced an in-depth epidemiological investigation of the cases to understand the possible source of infection and the extent of spread of the disease.

It added that contact tracing of all the close contacts of the patients had commenced. 

Our correspondent in Nasarawa reports that four people, including two doctors as well as a mother and her baby, died of Lassa fever in the state between last Sunday and this Tuesday.

It was gathered that the baby died in the Special Baby Care Unit; while the mother who was operated upon two times for the disease died in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

The deceased doctors, Oga Esa-Ochapa and Victor Nwatu-Mbanefor were said to have developed a symptom shortly after operating the woman and travelled to Abuja to see their families. 

The Chief Medical Director at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Dr Hassan Ikrama, disclosed this to journalists in Lafia on Wednesday.

He said the hospital had started contact tracing of those people within the hospital to prevent the spread of the disease across the state.

He said health workers in the hospital who came in contact with the woman had been identified and had tested negative for Lassa fever.

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